Okay, Syd... I won't keep you waiting any longer for the outcome of the story. :)
Let's see... where did I leave off... oh yes. We were at the hotel for our last few nights, and then we were heading home. The big thing, though, was the court hearing.
First of all, it was in Berkeley. Don't get me wrong. I love Berkeley. The only problem is, I don't really know all the streets that well. I certainly didn't know where the courthouse was. So Hubster Googled a map, and off we went... late as usual.
Fortunately for us, traffic was light. We got there with mere minutes to spare and faced having to find a parking place. Since we were so late, Hubster dropped me off in front of the building while he went to find a parking space. I didn't have my walker with me, so I hobbled to the building as fast as I could. Uh oh... there was a dreaded metal detector which I had to go through. I was in a hurry - who wanted to bother?
The cop standing behind the metal detector was a young guy, clearly doing his time at the court before they released him onto the public. He told me, very authoritatively, that I had to go through it. I lost it at that point and began yelling at him. I stuck out my arm and showed him my tattoo of my grandfather's badge and told him that Grandpa would never make me walk through such a thing (good thing, too, because I used to carry a gun and a blackjack), that he was a lieutenant at the station before he retired, that I didn't have on any underwear (so how on earth could I hide a weapon other than up my snatch?), and I was late for a court hearing. The poor guy didn't know what to do, especially since I was wild-eyed, handicapped, and clearly insane. He waved me through, praying, I'm sure, that I really wasn't packing anything up my cooze. I hobbled up the stairs as best I could and found the correct court. Thank goodness the judge was late; Mom was in there with her attorney, saw me, and waved me in.
About 15 minutes later, the judge appeared. By this time, Hubster had found a parking place right outside the courthouse and made it into the courtroom. Mom and her attorney went up to the podium and began talking to the judge. He was so soft-spoken that I could barely hear him. He asked a few questions, seemed to approve of the answers, and said, "Okay. So ordered.". The entire thing took less than 10 minutes. Mom looked at her attorney with a puzzled expression on her face, was told that she had won, and she grabbed her attorney with tears running down her face. Then she ran over and hugged all of us (Amber's soon to be ex-MIL and ex-SIL also showed up). That was it.
Mom has permanent guardianship of the kids. :)
And the most disgusting thing of all? Amber didn't even bother to show up.
After the hearing, we all went into the hall while the attorney went downstairs to file papers and get copies made. As we were talking, Melissa's cell went off. It was Amber, saying thanks so much for letting her know that the hearing was in Berkeley. She claimed to have gone to the courthouse in Pleasanton. What a load of horseshit. She had called Mom's attorney to ask where the hearing was and what time it got underway. Lying, as usual. We all just ignored it and sat there grinning like idiots. Even the judge had been grinning at all of us in the courtroom. I think he was happy he could make that decision.
So now, if Amber wants to see the kids, she has to give Mom two days' notice and is only allowed a one-hour supervised visit at Mom's house. She can't take them anywhere, either. So early this week, she called for a visit and set up the day. Then when the day of her visit arrived, she called in the morning to cancel it. She rescheduled it for today.
Mom called me this evening to tell me that she showed up, but that she didn't say a word to Mom or Grandma. Instead, she walked outside where the kids were splashing in their pool. Both kids totally ignored her until the end of the visit, when Daisy said a few words to her. Amber said she'd see them next week and got pissed off when Mom reminded her to call first. It hasn't sunk in that Amber has to follow the court orders. The one thing Amber did say to Mom was that she was canceling their health insurance and now had an attorney. Big deal. There's nothing she can do at this point, and we've heard the "I've got a lawyer" line before. She left in a beater of a car (nobody knows whom it belongs to - Amber's car was repossessed a couple of weeks ago). Amber also lost her job and will be kicked out of her condo at the end of the month. She has no money, no car, no job, no place to live - at 31 years old. She's filed bankruptcy twice and just had her second abortion. I'm not the world's best money manager, but this kid takes the cake. How on earth she ever thought she could care for those kids is beyond me. She's now really hostile because she's lost the only playing chips she had - the one thing she could use against us. You gotta love karma. The mother part of me is trying to feel sorry for her, but the rational part of me says that she's done nothing but caused the family grief and pain for more than 10 years. I'm trying to not worry about her because she's always used guilt against us, too, but it's difficult at times. Until I look at a picture of the kids, that is.
Hubster has to go on a business trip to Chicago the first week of August, so we're driving to the Bay Area once again (with Emma in tow). I was originally going to go with him (I used to go to Chicago every month and love the city) - he's staying in the new Trump Towers, and I really wanted to go to yarn shops in the area. We can't afford it, though, especially since the company doesn't pay for my ticket or hotel stay or even meals (I was so looking forward to a burger at Blackie's). He also doesn't want me at home alone. At least this way, if I run into trouble, I can call Mom and she'll be at my hotel room in five minutes flat. I've also got Emma to protect me (she's a very territorial little fart, although she's very friendly if one of us is with her and she senses there's no danger). I'm looking forward to it. The pool there is very small, but there are lounge chairs where I can sit in the sun and knit while I'm working on my tan, and there is also a hot tub where I can sit at night and enjoy the warm water with the cool air blowing against my face. It will also be fun to have the kids come over and swim with me. This is when I really miss my Sacramento house and the pool. I'd give anything to have them back. Stupid me, I did a Bing bird's-eye view of the property and saw what the new owners have done. It really made me sad. I have to stop doing shit like that.
Mom is scheduling a visit for Amber and the kids so I'll get the chance to confront her. Nothing would make me happier. Maybe she'll slap me and I can have her arrested for assault.
I've already got my knitting bag packed with traveling projects and the one test knit I'm working on, so I'll have plenty to do while I'm there. Mom and I are going to a fabric shop and getting a pattern for jammies for the kids which I'll make when I get home. We're also hitting up my fave knitting shop in Oakland (Article Pract) and having lunch. We haven't done that in years; it'll be a lot of fun. I'm also trying to get ahold of my cousin so I can go over and visit. His wife wants me to teach her how to knit.
So that's all the news. It's been so damned hot here that I'm sprawled in front of a big fan with my knitting and not doing much of anything else. It's even too hot to go sit in that little pool. It would cool me off, but I'll fry. That's unusual, because I usually burn once and then just keep getting darker and darker.
It must have something to do with being so much closer to the sun. Barf.